Post by Friendly Destroyer on Nov 19, 2012 22:47:56 GMT -5
BOB DYLAN - ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: LIVE 1975
Bob Dylan's traveling mega rock and roll 1975 medicine show started out as a free forming last stand for the musician's musician. It was Dylan's determined final effort to show that music was a language and if you spoke the language you could hop aboard the Carnival and put in your two cents. The hope was that your addition to the conversation would take it in another direction, but because everyone else spoke the same language they would follow you and come to a different conclusion they did the night before and will probably come to another the following day.
As simple and pretentious as the idea may sound I think that it holds a lot of water and am so thankful that a document of this event actually exists. For me the Rolling Thunder Revue truly is a "Hall of Records" of sorts to an extinct musical civilization which serves not only to prove that it ever existed but shares its secrets with us as well.
I could literally get into every single nook and cranny of this incredible album, but I think I'll do it a little more justice by focusing on just one song.
"Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You"
Originally it was written and recorded in two days for the 1969 Nashville Skyline album because he simply needed a another original song. He never played it live a single time until the Rolling Thunder Revue tour.
It is simply one of the greatest live performances to showcase a group of musicians who grew up not listening to bands or learning radio hits, but rooted themselves in styles and lived amongst not only their sound, but the greatest gift to ever grace music (which is now, unfortunately, slowly seeing it's itself fade into the shadows even by the most accomplished of modern musicians)... the groove.
Every single one of these guys (which began to gather mainstays such as T Bone Burnette and Mick Ronson) sit right in the pocket of the groove including Dylan's vocals which perfectly punctuate, as natural as can be, with the percussion yet also flow with the melody just as easily. IT IS A GODDAMN MASTERPIECE OF A PERFORMANCE!
Being that everyone simply understood how to play in a groove and follow each other as easily and as naturally as they learned to walk and talk it allowed for other flourishes to come forth. These days a good band who can perform in "time" and follow one another simply hang their hat on this accomplishment and go no further. The band in "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" is so adept that they are all able to add an emotional ferocity that probably will never ever be able to be duplicated by a group of established artists ever again. T Bone Burnette and and Mick Ronson exchange some of the the greatest guitar interplay you will ever hear in your life! Dylan is simply, for lack of better terms, balls to the walls with his vocals. The rest of the band communicate the same emotional ferocity throughout the song and even meet head to head in a Heavy Metal break down which hands it's epic climax over to their ring leader as he belts out "I can hear that lonesome whistle blowin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" from Rock n' Roll Mountain.
Here's something fun to get the idea of just how different the song's arrangement changed as a result of being birthed through the Rolling Thunder Revue Band.
Post by Friendly Destroyer on Nov 20, 2012 1:01:00 GMT -5
Here's some words from a dude who was actually alive while it all happened.
"The Rolling Thunder Revue shows remain some of the finest music Dylan ever made with a live band," wrote Clinton Heylin. "Gone was the traditionalism of The Band. Instead he found a whole set of textures rarely found in rock. The idea of blending the pedal-steel syncopation of Mansfield, Ronson's glam-rock lead breaks, and Rivera's electric violin made for something as musically layered as Dylan's lyrics...[Dylan] also displayed a vocal precision rare even for him, snapping and stretching words to cajole nuances of meaning from each and every line."